Scouts mark centenary of Shackleton’s departure for Antarctica on the River Thames by sailing historic flotilla under Tower Bridge and launch their own Antarctic expedition

  • Exactly 100-years after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Quest set sail on the Thames for Antarctica a ten strong team of Scouts and leaders have recreated Shackleton’s departure from London
  • The Scouts sailed a flotilla of half a dozen vessels lead by the historic Lady Daphne under Tower Bridge exactly 100 years after Shackleton’s expedition departed for the Antarctic
  • The Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922 included two Scouts: James Marr and Norman Mooney. On 30th December 2021 the team of ten scouts and their leaders will follow in Marr and Mooney’s footsteps and depart from South America for Antarctica.
The REQUEST2021 Project Team and special guests on board the Lady Daphne Thames Barge Fri 17th Sep 2021
Back row: Alan Noake, Laura Bernard, (James the Skipper), Cathy Mummery, Matt Wood
Front row: George Stonor, Sam Payne, Alex Maciver, Wayne White, The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, Jan Chojecki, Genevieve Scullion, Lucy Morgan & Darcey Holmes.
The REQUEST2021 Team heading under Tower Bridge on board the Lady Daphne Thames Barge 1pm 17th Sep 2021
The ReQuest2021 team going under Tower Bridge on Friday 17th September 2021
The REQUEST2021 team ready to hold their Shackleton Scouts’ Own Service at St. Katharine Docks Fri 17th Sep 2021
The Lady Daphne Thames Barge our partners for recreating the Quest passing under Tower Bridge on 17th September 2021
Thames, Friday 17th September set to the music of Pachelbel Canon in D Major
Preparing for the group photo on board the Lady Daphne Thames Barge Fri 17th Sep 2021
Aerial Shot of Lady Daphne after passing under Tower Bridge
Some more great video footage of our Thames Event 17th Sep 2021
The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton (Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Granddaughter) and Jan Chojecki (John Quiller Rowett’s grandson)
The ReQuest2021 Team (Left to Right): Lucy Morgan, Darcey Holmes, Cathy Mummery, Sam Payne, George Stonor, Genevieve Scullion, Alan Noake, Alex Maciver, Matt Wood and Laura Bernard.
Other Scout Boats In The Flotilla
A tribute video to our wonderful Thames Event Scout Flotilla 17th Sep 2021

The Kent Scouts boat Cassiopeia was crewed by members of the 8th Faversham Sea Scout Group RN21, the Group that George Stonor (REQUEST2021 participant) grew up with: John Carden – SL, Wayne Burney – SL, Drew Burney – Scout Network but Cub and Scout with the 8th Faversham. Christopher White – ESL Warrior ESU / 1st Portsmouth Sea Scout Group and former member of the 8th Faversham (Peter’s brother and John’s nephew.) Becky Holden – Group Occasional Helper 1st Portsmouth Sea Scout Group.

1st Portsmouth Sea Scout Group have a connection with Tower Bridge, they were founded in 1907 (or earlier) by renown marine artist William Lionel Wyllie who painted “The Opening of Tower Bridge” in 1894, the picture is in the Guildhall Art Gallery and is featured on the Tower Bridge website were it records the 7 most interesting vessels to pass through the bridge.

17th September 2021 A team of ten Scouts officially launched their Antarctic Research Project – ReQuest2021 – in London on board the 100-year-old Thames barge called the Lady Daphne.

The Lady Daphne was part of a flotilla of half-a-dozen Scout boats that made their way from Greenwich and then under Tower Bridge – which opened its famous bridge spans – into the Pool of London to mark the launch of the Scout’s ReQuest2021, Antarctica Project.

The team of Scouts on board Lady Daphne were hand-picked for their personal research projects on topics spanning climate change, the arts and science.

One experiment the team will undertake is to study the Krill population of the region which is a basic component of the Antarctic food chain. To do this the team has using the same style of Nansen Nets as originally used by Marr in his the experiments conducted 100 years ago. The data collected in 2021 will be compared to the data collected in 1921 and real time information will be gained on the health of the Antarctic waters.

Launching ReQuest2021 the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton, said:

“I am enormously impressed by the attitude, dedication and attention to detail that these ten members of Scouting have shown. It will be a truly life-changing experience for each and every one of them. I am very much looking forward to learning more about their individual projects and how we can work together to educate more people around the world about the need to protect our fragile polar ecosystem.”

The 23-day expedition will begin on 30th December 2021 with the 2000km+ voyage on board Bark Europa from Ushuaia, Argentina, crossing the infamous Drake Passage, to the Antarctic Peninsula which the Scouts will be exploring for two weeks.

Whilst in Antarctica, as well as working on their projects, the team will get to help crew the tall ship and to visit the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust base of Port Lockroy. They will also make a number of landings to study wildlife and carry out some ice trekking through dramatic scenery.

Lucy Morgan from Kent Scouts said:

“A key part of this expedition is to help educate young people about the impacts of climate change. We are also encouraging them to take their own climate action to protect Antarctica and other at-risk areas. So far we have used a mixture of online and face-to-face activities to reach over 1,000 young people. We are hoping to reach even more across Kent and the UK before our expedition departs. This is an urgent issue and we must act now to minimise losses for future generations.”

Expedition leader, Alan Noake, said:

“Antarctica is the ultimate destination to give our young people a sense of adventure. Our project aim is to develop their skills for life as ambassadors of peace, environment and heritage for this fragile world location.

Dwayne Fields – Naturalist and Polar Explorer said

“Recreating expeditions like Shackleton’s classic 1921 journey gives Scouts from 2021 a real way to experience what those Polar pioneers must have experienced 100 years ago. Being inspired by Shackleton and some of the other greats from our past as well as sharing some of the same experiences that Shackleton’s team did back in 1921 helps shine a modern light on climate change issues which is the greatest challenge of our times. It’s important to see the Scouts doing their bit to tackle this issue.”

Quest sailing under Tower Bridge at 1pm on 17th September 1921
Lady Daphne “ReQuest” sailing under Tower Bridge at 1pm on 17th September 2021
#1 Quest by Tower of London 17th Sep 1921

#2 Lady Daphne “ReQuest” by Tower of London 17th Sep 2021

(Photo credit: Jan Chojecki)
Scottish Scouts James Marr and Norman Mooney raising the Union Flag on board the Quest 17th September 1921.
John Quiller Rowett on right.
Scottish Scouts Alex Maciver and Sam Payne raising the Union Flag on board the Lady Daphne Thames Barge 17th September 2021.
Jan Chojecki (John Quiller Rowett’s grandson) on right.
#1 Scout Mooney September 17th 1921 on Quest
#2 Scout Maciver (Alex Maciver) September 17th 2021 on Lady Daphne
The crew of Shackleton’s Quest Expedition including Scouts Marr and Mooney on 17th September 1921

About the Project

  • For more information about the ReQuest2021 expedition and the research projects, please visit and follow our Facebook group:
  • The ReQuest2021, Antarctic Research Project Team will be sailing on board Bark Europa tall ship from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula from 1st to 23rd January 2022.
  • Over the past four years the ten Scouts have undertaken fundraising activities including a rowing challenge, grand auction and online merchandise sales to raise £110,000 for the expedition.
  • Lady Daphne is a 100-year-old Thames barge. The project team and other Scout volunteers have completed over 1500 volunteer-hours during the past year helping to restore it especially for the project launch day.
  • A key sponsor of the Request expedition is the East and West Kent Freemasons which have the same core values of supporting young people  and  
  • The team of ten include eight members of Scouting from East and West Kent and two from Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, Scotland representing the two original Scottish Scouts who sailed with Shackleton on the original Shackleton-Rowlett ‘Quest’ expedition. Individual photos of each of the participants are also available.
  • On Saturday, 17th September 1921 precisely at one o’clock, Sir Ernest Shackleton gave the word to cast off. His ship Quest also famously sailed from St. Katherine Docks with a detour through Tower Bridge to begin its journey across the Atlantic Ocean to Antarctica.
  • Marr went on in later life to produce the “THE NATURAL HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY OF THE ANTARCTIC KRILL (1962)” which is still the definitive research document on Krill and emphasising their importance to the Southern Ocean food chain.
  • Group Project: THE ANTARCTICA SCOUT KRILL project. Partnership with British Antarctic Survey to study and raise awareness of the importance of Antarctic krill to the Southern Ocean ecosystem.
  • Dr Jan Chojecki, grandson of John Quiller Rowett, the friend of Shackleton who financed the 1921 expedition, has been helping plan the expeditions’ individual and group projects
    • Alan Noake, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich & District Kent
    • Cathy Mummery, Weald District, Kent
    • Matt Wood, Malling District, Kent
    • Laura Bernard, Folkestone District, Kent
    • Lucy Morgan, Sevenoaks District, Kent
    • Genevieve Scullion, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich & District, Kent
    • George Stonor, Faversham District, Kent
    • Darcey Holmes, Thanet District, Kent
    • Sam Payne, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
    • Alex Maciver, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

Donations welcomed:

Great image of the M.V. Golden Star, chartered on Friday 17th Sep 2021 to transport our Emperor & King Penguin Sponsors, Scouting Dignitaries, Scout Marr’s sisters and relatives of the participants. [Photo: Jan Chojecki]
The REQUEST2021 Project Team and special guests on board the Lady Daphne Thames Barge Fri 17th Sep 2021
Back row: Laura Bernard, Alan Noake, (James the Skipper), Cathy Mummery, Matt Wood
Front row: George Stonor, Sam Payne, Alex Maciver, Wayne White, The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, Jan Chojecki, Genevieve Scullion, Lucy Morgan & Darcey Holmes.

About Scouts:

 All genders, races and backgrounds are welcome at Scouts. Every week, it gives almost half a million people aged 6-25 the skills they need for school, college, university, the job interview, the important speech, the tricky challenge and the big dreams: the skills they need for life.   

Scouts helps members gain these skills by encouraging them to ask the big questions and listen with wide open minds. It helps them to take a deep breath and speak up, think on their feet, ignore the butterflies and go for it. With Scouts, young people don’t give up – they get back up and try again, often with the support of the friends they’ve made there.   

Our volunteers contribute more than 50 million hours of voluntary work each year to their local communities.  

Find out more about Scouts on

9 Comments to Scouts mark centenary of Shackleton’s departure for Antarctica on the River Thames by sailing historic flotilla under Tower Bridge and launch their own Antarctic expedition

  1. Sue Newman says:

    I’m coming!

  2. Wayne White says:

    Will be an historic day, absolutely wonderful!

  3. Susanna Ferrar says:

    I’ll be there at least to watch! Is there any way of joining in on the water? In a boat at all?? Sue

  4. Philippa Foster Back says:

    What time will this be happening on Friday?

  5. Tony Harvey says:

    Congratulations to Alan and all the team on everything you have achieved so far, and best wishes and God Speed for all you aim to do.

  6. Max says:

    This is wonderful!

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